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On 10 Jun 2009 at 9:47pm Sam wrote:
The anchor 's owner Simon Thomas cannot own the rights to stop people using the river. He may own the rights to charge for the hire of boats on that stretch but I doubt he cannot legally prohibit anyone from putting boats in from the other side of the Anchor or from rowing past his pub (I suggest who ever is next challanged asks to see the copy of these 'rights') - water is not capable of possession. As for ownership of the land... the land across the river is the property of a local famer NOT Simon Thomas.
As an addtional comment - the last time I went there the owner was policing the car park with a walkie talkie shouting at potential clients who were not parking to his clearly stringent standards. Its hard to tell the actual mood of the owner as his sunglasses appear to be incapable of removal without surgery, however being shouted at is not really a good first impression, particularly when the individual concerned looks so aggressive.
In addition the happy scenes of families actually communicating, picnicing and playing in the field over the river was simply not there - the field was as empty as the atmosphere in the bar.

Don't bother to go down there with a picnic or a bottle to take on the boats as you will be refused access - apparently you have to buy the same from the pub. This man has not understood the concept of relaxation or the spirit of the Anchor, many of the locals have been barred and previous staff sacked.
There is simply no happiness left in a place which was once a haven for families and a comfort to locals.
The question is who wants to spend all week working within boundaries to then visit a pub and have further unnecessary rules imposed on them. The atmosphere is tense to say the least.
Did I say don't bother to go down there with a picnic or bottle...what I really mean is...just don't bother, unless as an aspiring publican you want to see how not to do it.
On 10 Jun 2009 at 10:34pm THEINTREPIDFOX wrote:
I completely agree he's a complete t*** and has no common sense but.. taken from
In the England and Wales the canoeist does not have an automatic right to launch on to any river. The legal situation is different from all other countries in the world, where canoeists are generally able to paddle large and small non-tidal rivers without seeking permission, as the beds of these rivers are not privately owned and not vested in riparian owners.
Trespass (under civil law)
If you are canoeing privately owned water without permission, then you might be trespassing. Simple trespass is a civil offence, not a criminal offence. Damages can be awarded against the trespasser (i.e. a fine), or an injunction can be issued to prevent repetition of trespass or to restrain threatened trespass. It is not a police matter unless a criminal offence is committed; this would only be if wilful or malicious damage was done, there was a conspiracy to commit trespass, there was behaviour likely to cause a breach of the peace or it was a case of aggravated trespass.
If you are challenged whilst paddling, please be courteous and polite whatever the situation. Avoid anything that could be interpreted as a breach of the peace or conspiracy to trespass (i.e. criminal offences). If you are challenged by an authorised official you could be obliged to give your name and address, If you are accused of trespass and genuinely believe you are exercising a public right of navigation or are paddling within the terms of an access agreement, you should say so and refuse to admit trespass. There is no case if you can prove that you are within your rights or have permission. Where you have a legal right the law requires you to exercise the right reasonably with due consideration for others.
Aggravated Trespass (under criminal Law)
The Criminal Justice Act 1994 introduced the new criminal offence of aggravated trespass. This should not be confused with ordinary trespass, which is a civil offence. To commit aggravated trespass you must first be trespassing; whilst trespassing you must also have the intention of obstructing or disrupting a lawful activity (such as hunting, shooting or fishing) or intimidating those engaged in such lawful activities Canoeists should not fall foul of this new law if they canoe in a peaceful and considerate manner. We have no indication as to how the Police the Crown Prosecution Service and the Courts will interpret the act where paddlers in pursuit of their sport, a lawful activity, might be involved.
On 11 Jun 2009 at 8:22am Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
I still like the idea of a water-borne mass trespass. I'd like to see what he would do if 30 or 40 small boats paddled up and down by his pub.
On 11 Jun 2009 at 8:08pm sam wrote:
The law in regard to land-locked water is different I am sure. Water on rivers cannot be 'owned' per se as it is flowing and impossible to quantify.
You will note that there is an implied invitation on the 'rafting' thread (I assume by the landowner of the opposite bank) to launch from the opposite side.
Thomas can stop you from parking on his property (unless you are a member of the Ouse Angling Association), but his attitute to people rowing past his property or launching from anywhere else not owned by him is not correct in my opinion.
He cannot stop you from crossing the bridge and parking on the opposite field with the permission of Boathouse Farm.
He owns the rights to CHARGE for use of that stretch of river for boats launched from his land, he cannot own the river, there is case law in this country to evidence this.
I am unaware of any prosecutions under the CJA for offences in regard to trespass on water. This law was brought in to stop raves more than any other offence.
I still think that Thomas should be challanged as to the wording of his rights.
The issue canoeists have is where they park to launch. Perhaps further advise should be sought from the media, although I would hate to do anything which might publicise his trade!
What is very sad is that this was a happy place...once
Does anyone know a journalist?
On 11 Jun 2009 at 10:33pm DogOwner wrote:
bl00dy sure when i wen there about 2 years ago I was allowed to take my dog in the bar too - not now - judt boycott - beer was rank as well last week
On 12 Jun 2009 at 12:48pm Ed Can Do wrote:
From reading what people here have posted on the subject, it looks to me like the only access right the landowner can allow or deny is the launching of boats. As such, there's nothing at all to stop anyone launching upstream of his section and canoeing through it, then getting out once they're past. Even if he's being arsey about that (And one suspects he wouldn't wade into the river to pull you out), you can always just portage round his section on the other bank.
On 12 Jun 2009 at 2:39pm colin wrote:
if he does wade in
Nothing a canoe paddle round his smug head wouldn't cure ?
to a large round of applause from both sides of the bank.
On 12 Jun 2009 at 4:23pm an OAPS wrote:
I also hear he's telling people that they can't cross from the metalled road that turns into his car park to the bridge that crosses the river because he owns that few metres of unmade road.
I've seen an HM Land Registry extract that shows the Anchor Inn as being entered in the register on 08 May 2009 at 15:53:58 in three parts. Part A is the Anchor Inn itself (including the garden), part B is a small part of the car park opposite and finally there is a larger part of the same car park which isn't identified by any letter.

The map accompanying the extract clearly shows that these three parts do not meet and that the track between them is not included - and as it's used by the farmer with fields on the opposite bank, I'd have been surprised if it was.
And BTW, since Mike sold the Anchor, Ouse Angling Preservation Society tickets are no longer being sold there, nor is the car park available to ticket holders. The Society no longer has any association with the place.
On 13 Jun 2009 at 8:53am colin wrote:
The new landlord isnt called BIll by anychance is he ?
seems if your called Bill you can do as you bloomin well please?
must say I did laugh at the low flying aircraft post about the new owner protecting his airspace?
On 13 Jun 2009 at 10:53am sashimi wrote:
If anyone is planning to make some sort of challenge on this, contact Steve Holloway at the Sussex Express and make sure you get some photographs taken
On 14 Jun 2009 at 2:20pm zero cool wrote:
I went to school with all three of the Thomas Brothers-Ian Matthew and Simon. All these three yobos wanted to do when they were in their teens was to humiliate Mr. Bovay-White, as he was a Jaguar fanatic. I can remeber them making a tape recording os a said race, where one did the comentary and the other rushed round the back taking recording of an engine noise as if to say it was racing around a race track, and they sent it to Mr. B. White who thought it was a genuine recording of La Mans. They have always been a bloody nuisance in Barcome Village and will continue to be as he now owns this pub. Simon should have stayed to Bodium. He managed to crush that pub too. Matthew also managed to crush the Anchor at Ringmer. Perhaps they should rename the pubs in question The W*****s and not the Anchors. Work it out! Be warned Simon is a very underhanded character so take heed of this warning. This is from an EX good friend of theirs who also got screwed by them as few years ago !!!!!!!!!!!!!
On 14 Jun 2009 at 5:01pm Annette Curtin-Twitcher wrote:
Did he have the pub by the castle (called, imaginatively, The Castle, I believe)?
We camped at Bodiam 3 years ago and were quite impressed with the pub. They were very dog-friendly, the food was ok and a fair price and the service was excellent considering it was very busy. Hard to believe it's in the same hands as the Anchor.
On 14 Jun 2009 at 5:14pm FT wrote:
Simon Thomas's wife ran The White Dog in Ewhurst Green (near Bodium). Simon got in the way.
On 14 Jun 2009 at 11:14pm MTD wrote:
Oh no, not another Anchor Inn, Barcombe thread.
Navigation rights on the Ouse and other canalised rivers were granted in a law dating from 1812. This allowed boats to traverse up these rivers, ostensibly to trade. That law has never been repealed or superceded. and so navigation on the the Ousee is open to all (and always has been). There are no navigation rights that can be bought. Certainly the Environment Agency have not sold any to Simon Thomas. Anchor Lane is a public highway and can be used by anyone. Anyone can drive right onto the bridge and stop. Simon Thomas does not own Anchor Lane, the 10 yards unmade track to the bridge or the bridge itself. Boathouse Farm owns the land on other side of the river from the Anchor upsteam of the bridge. Boathouse farm receive a grant to allow members of the public recreation rights to the land. Boathouse Farm are fine with people launching kayaks from their bank.
The only thing that Anchor Inn Barcombe can do is stop people parking in their car park. However, they cannot stop you parking anywhere at the side of Anchor Lane as it is a public highway. The nearest public parking space is dead opposite the entrance to the Anchor grass carpark. The Anchor Inn cannot stop anyine parking there.
So in summary. If anyone wants to kayak from the Anchor to the Ouse it is best (and perfectly legal) to drive down Anchor Lane, stop your vehicle on the bridge and unload the kayak onto the Boathouse Farm land/bank, move the car to the space opposite the entrance to the Anchor grass carpark, park and launch your kayak into the water. Paddle to the Sutton Hall weir (also known as the Falls). Enjoy.
On 15 Jun 2009 at 1:57pm Spartacus wrote:
Sam - the water is owned by the Environment Agency while the river bed is owned by the land owner.
MTD - Have you anymore details on the Navigation Rights to the Ouse? Has this ever been test or tested recently?
On 15 Jun 2009 at 11:42pm MTD wrote:
It's not been tested as far as I know (although it's possible that the British Canoe Union are intending to test it). For reference there is a useful publication by Douglas Caffyn called ""The Right of Navigation on Non-tidal Rivers and the Common Law"". It documents the history of navigation on UK waterways and the various laws that have been enacted governing navigation. His thesis argues that in common law there is a public right of navigation on all non-tidal rivers that have been made navigable at public expense. The paper is the first critical study of the various legal interpretations since the Select Committee of the House of Lords on Sport and Leisure steated in 1973 that ""The legal question of rights of way over water must be settled. A number of different legal interpretations of the right of way have been referred to in evidence and it is time for these to be resolved." They remain unresolved, and until they are resolved you are free to free to paddle on most canalised rivers.
BTW. Douglas Caffyn lives in Eastbourne and in his treatise writes directly about the Sussex Ouse.

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